So, yesterday I gave you my plan of attack for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving our lives get crazy busy! The good Lord blessed us with our one and only son on December 8th. We go from Turkey day to birthday to Christmas then New years and after New Years he goes into serious withdrawal. It's like a continuous celebration! So, not only are we having to navigate the foods and feasts of the holidays, we also have to navigate birthday cake and classroom treats and parties. How are we going to approach the Birthday/Christmas/New Years celebrations? I'll tell you, this is the part that makes me a bit nervous. This is the time of year that I am usually working OT, trying to plan a birthday and do Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, wrapping, baking, and trying to find the time to sit down and rest with my favorite holiday flicks! This is the time that I'm usually running on fumes and I'm more apt to grab a plateful of cookies out of boredom and stress. It starts innocently enough with "oh, one iced sugar cookie won't hurt!" then before I know it, I"m back grabbing a second. I look at my hand, it's like it has a mind of it's own! My brain is telling me STOP but the emotional eater comes out and tells me it's OK, you can have more. Just get rid of them by tomorrow! Before I know it, the plate is gone and I feel sick and defeated. Can I get a witness? Ugh!

This year, I plan on handling all of this differently. I'm learning how to turn off the volume to the emotional eater. There are days where I just stand in the kitchen and stare into the fridge. I tell myself to make a cup of tea or drink a glass of water instead. A while later, I will have forgotten that I was feeling like caving and eating something unhealthy.

My son and I like to do sugar cookies and decorate them. So, this year, we will still do our baking but, we won't make as many cookies and will give the rest as gifts to his teachers.

As far as receiving treats as gifts? That's always hard isn't it? You know someone went to alot of trouble to make that peanut brittle or those beautiful cake pops that look like snowmen? I'm really at a loss for this. Typically, we keep the treats and munch on them for a couple of days and toss the rest. BUT, that was then....

Anybody have ideas on what to do with gifted treats?

You can't go through the holidays without parties. My plan of attack would be similar to Thanksgiving. I will eat healthy breakfast and lunch drink lots of water and eat either an apple or a cup of soup before hand so, when I get there, I will be not as hungry. I will go for the veggie tray and stay away from the puff pastries. I will stick with water or club soda and away from the punch and soda.

We usually have a Christmas breakfast tradition. The hubs usually whips up pumpkin pecan pancakes for us to eat after we've opened presents. Or, we'll get cinnamon rolls and have warm cinnamon rolls. This year, we may still follow our tradition but, I think we'll eat less pancakes and have eggs with them for the protein factor. Seems like, just pancakes don't stick with you very long. I may try to find a healthier but just as yummy alternative. If I find it, I will share with you for sure!

Christmas is not like a typical day. We usually don't eat lunch. We snack a bit and then show up ready to devour dinner (Don't forget we have two dinners to navigate). This year, I will work on getting a healthy lunch or maybe we'll do brunch this year. This way, we don't find ourselves grabbing second helpings of those heavy side dishes. Christmas with my family is a lot like Thanksgiving. We keep it fairly light and low sodium for dad. I usually try a little of everything. Just a dab. Sometimes, we don't even feel like dessert but mom usually sends us home with a few slices of a Granny Smith's premade pie. This makes the hubs appreciate his mama's homemade pie all the more! (wink) love you mama!

We usually have our second feast a few days later. It's alot like our Thanksgiving feast. The spread of deserts is even larger and the dinner spread even more so! This is not a low sodium meal folks! I've been pretty big on watching my salt intake for a few years. Typically, I would eat a banana or two the day of and the day after this meal just because the potassium helps flush out the sodium. This time around, I'm going to have to be extra cautious. Choosing turkey over ham and the veggie tray over the homemade noodles and gravy. As with the dessert spread, I'm going with only ONE dessert. This will be hard because, it's hard to choose when it's all of the goodies that you only get this time of year! However, I have to keep thinking that I don't want to have taken so many steps forward on this journey to making poor choices that will set me back!

As for New Years, we typically don't get all dressed up and party. Honestly, we've gone to our zoo who has a really neat lights display and then we'll grab dinner on the way home where we sit snuggled up under the blankets watching the ball drop. Last year, we spent the night ringing in the new year with new friends. We had hors d' oeuvres, dinner, and snacks while we talked and let the kids play. We toasted at midnight with a nice light bubbly.

As for the New year, I hope to have a good leg up (ha, no pun!) on this healthy lifestyle change so that my first resolution won't be to "get back into shape and lose weight!".

How do you navigate Christmas and New Years or maybe you observe Chanukah? How do you plan for the special treats that only come once a year?

One last question, which do you prefer, Pumpkin or Pecan pie?

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